Ask Pat: Change Table in Pier Park?

Someone asked—

Is it possible to ask city to put back baby change table in family washroom at pier park in downtown area? There is no change table in the park right now.

This is probably one of those questions that should go straight to the Parks Department, or even on SeeClickFix. But I asked a few questions, and here is the best I can tell (again, contact the Parks directly to get what is probably more accurate info!

The Men’s and Women’s Washrooms at Pier Park do not lock (except at night) but the Family room does, as that better reflects it’s one-at-a-time use. Apparently, this ability to lock the door empowers some undesirable activities, possibly (but not certainly) related. First, it seems that some people with limited other options have used the room to grab a few hours of secured sleep in the early morning or evening hours. There has also been quite a bit of vandalism in that room – much more than in the unlocked “gender-specific” bathrooms.

Parks is working on a bit of a strategy to address the main concerns here, but in the meantime they are reluctant to replace the change table yet again, anticipating it will be destroyed again. I’m not sure what that strategy looks like, and although spot security enforcement might get lucky catching a perp, I don’t see 24-hour security being a viable option. There are meant to be change tables in each of the Men’s and Women’s washrooms, which may be suboptimal for some families, but it might be the best we can offer in the short term. I would love to hear if anyone has a suggestion on how to make this work better.

5 comments on “Ask Pat: Change Table in Pier Park?

  1. Good question! And response! The family bathroom does get pretty gross… last time we were in there it was littered with used condoms. Locking doors is definitely an attractant for some undesirable activities. Yuck. Hoping that the strategy helps fix this issue.

  2. Council was advised that plans for Pier Park would attract trouble, Hammocks to sleep on, locking washrooms being vandalized is not surprising! It Is a dead end park. As for claims of high usage? Yet to see pictures depicting this high usage, including Saturday with 10,000 geeks in town. As for parking most of the geeks I saw were unable to drive in those costumes so assume like always they used your heavily subsidized transit!
    The real question is… How much did our economy benefit by these 10,000 geeks?

  3. I reported the missing change table just over two weeks ago via SeeClickFix, after reporting graffiti in the same Family Washroom a little while prior, and had to follow up to get a response – the same day a fellow New West Mama sent you the question. Got a reply saying they have ordered one and are waiting for it to arrive to reinstall it.

    It makes a lot of sense that having a lockable bathroom of that size attracts undesirable activity in it, and so it’s better to put change tables in each of the ‘gender specific’ rooms instead; this also allows for more than one change to happen at the same time.

    @John Ashdown:
    As for claims of high usage, well as the weather gets better, the park is getting used more and more. I personally take my toddler down there at least once a week to play, and usually with a group of other moms and kids. There are often lots of joggers, groups of people exercising on the grass, people walking their dogs, families enjoying the playgrounds, etc. I believe it’s one of those parks that if more people knew about it, it would be regularly busier; it’s kind of a tucked away gem, I didn’t even know it existed until a month ago and I’ve been living in New West for years.
    Also, why would all those FanFest attendees go to the park? It wasn’t involved with the event, so your comment about them and (the lack of their) high usage is not even relevant.

  4. In the fourth picture, you can even see myself and my mom friends, our blankets and strollers, and all our kids playing in the sandbox and playground. There’s a good example of what will be a regular sight on good weather days. The New West Moms Group (#NWMG) on Facebook is 1000+ strong and we get around! It is my understanding that thanks to someone in our group sharing information with a husband who is either on or knows someone in the Council, that the new parent and tot double swing was recently installed in that same playground. #NWMG for the win! 🙂

    (https://patrickjohnstone.ca/2015/06/short-note-on-progress.html)

  5. To whomever commented that the park is not used, I disagree!!!
    We go at least once a week when the weather is good.
    Headway, a community center for adults with acquired brain injuries, take walks there often ( and are very happy the elevator will be running soon, as its hard to get to the new park when you have mobity issues).
    Its also the safest place for taking kids biking, and no car exhaust!
    Considering what was(n’t)there before, Pier Park is fantastic!

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